Business Maverick


Tencent’s return to Top 10 club shows China rebound bets soaring

Tencent’s return to Top 10 club shows China rebound bets soaring
The Tencent Holdings offices in Beijing, China. (Photo: Bloomberg / STR)

Tencent Holdings entered the club of the world’s 10 most-valuable companies for the first time in six months, reflecting investor optimism on Chinese shares as the nation dismantled its stringent Covid Zero policies and refocused on growth. 

The Chinese online gaming firm has risen more than 80% since the end of October, overtaking oil and gas producer Exxon Mobil Corp this week to become the 10th biggest company globally. 

The move also underscores the whipping US stocks have taken over the last year, primarily due to massive monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 Index is down about 20% from its record high reached a year ago, and firms like Tesla Inc and Meta Platforms have fallen out of the top 10. 

China’s reopening, coupled with policy easing and a softening of regulatory tone for private enterprises, is restoring faith among investors. That’s after President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” campaign crushed the tech sector over the past two years.

China’s approval of a plan by Jack Ma’s Ant Group to raise $1.5-billion for its consumer unit boosted expectations the tech crackdown will continue to ease. A series of measures to lift the property sector out of its worst downturn on record also fuelled the bullish sentiment.

Shenzhen-based Tencent commanded a market value of about $442-billion as of Wednesday’s close in Hong Kong. Still, that is less than half of the $949 billion it enjoyed at a peak in January 2021. BM/DM


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